BY IKECHUKWU AGADA
The run up to the 2023 general election is not going as planned for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at present because of lingering post-primary crisis.
Emerging reports have confirmed that a reconciliation talk between Governor Nyesom Wike and PDP flag bearer Atiku Abubakar will not happen as envisaged.
Governor Wike has reportedly declined any one-on-one conversation with the former Vice President. Governor Nyesom Wike has closed the door to any possible reconciliation talk with the Peoples Democratic Party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.
According to the report, Wike cited a lack of faith in Atiku in terms of honouring personal agreement. 9news Nigeria earlier reported that suggestions were made by the chairman PDP board of trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin who urged that Atiku should lead a delegation of PDP big wigs to appease Wike. It will be recalled that Wike and his camp were aggrieved that the presidential candidate, Atiku did not honour the recommendation of a committee set up to suggest a running mate for Atiku. The outcome of the committee’s report favoured Wike as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, a recommendation Atiku ignored and opted for the Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
On the heels of this development, the PDP has since been in a state of a heated crisis that has separated the party into several factions.
Meanwhile, a source revealed that the only means for Atiku to reach out to Wike is through his strategy team.
The source said: “There is no likelihood of Wike having a one-on-one private discussion with Atiku. Shortly after the primary, the governor had a side meeting with Atiku in Abuja and nothing was adhered to. “He was shocked that Atiku has not told Nigerians what transpired between him and Wike after the primary and how he arrived at Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a running mate. “Since there was no full disclosure, Wike has directed that fresh talks with Atiku should be with his strategy team members, who will come up with an advisory for him.”
As gathered by 9news Nigeria, Wike’s strategy team comprise of Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Samuel Ortom (Benue); ex-governors Hassan Dankwambo (Gombe); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) and Donald Duke (Cross River), among others.
The antecedent of Wike, Atiku rift, sources revealed when asked what the foundation of the rift between Atiku and Wike was, the source said in a spinoff of the presidential primaries of the PDP, Atiku visited Wike one on one to seek his support.
The source said: “He promised to make him a vice-presidential candidate. Wike said he does not want the office, but that Atiku should consider ex-Governor Donald Duke. Atiku and his supporters prevailed on Wike to be his running mate.” The source further revealed that despite Wike declining the vice-presidential slot, there was much pressure from different quarters that made Wike to accept the offer. It was gathered that these numerous calls and requests for Wike to accept the offer birthed the 17-member panel of party big wigs to recommend a candidate and 14 of them opted for Wike.
The source said: “You can see the lines of insincerity and lack of faith to talks. This explains why Wike shut his doors against Atiku.”
In another development, it was learned that Wike’s loyalists fume over the treatment meter to their principal and are considering mass defection from PDP.
Loyalists of Governor Nyesom Wike are on the verge of exiting the PDP. This move will however take effect if Governor Wike himself decides to exit the party for another party. It was gathered that the aggrieved loyalists of Governor Wike are not pleased with the way Atiku Abubakar snubbed Wike for the VP slot.
Meanwhile, a PDP stalwart in Delta state, Godsday Orubebe, a die-hard Wike fan has joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) as a result of the crisis.
It was gathered that Orubebe on Friday, July 1, made the shocking announcement in the Burutu local government area of Delta state. Giving reasons for his exit, Orubebe said the PDP failed to showcase any form of readiness to take over power from the ruling APC.